Saturday, August 14, 2010

Reading Pa "Wall of Shame"; Mayor McMahon; an ineffective solution to the problem of "blight."

The City of Reading has announced a new program to fight "blight" and force property owners to clean up their properties:
Reading (RED-ing') Mayor Tom McMahon on Monday [August 2] announced a new online "Wall of Shame" featuring blighted properties.

McMahon says the property owners' names will be posted along with pictures and addresses. He says he's serving notice to property owners who fail to take action on eyesore properties.

The Wall of Shame is featured here - (otherwise known as "Mayor McMahon's Wall of Shame.")

This "Wall" brings to mind several points.

The second item on the above list helps to explain the first and third items. No matter how many ordinances the City enacts or how many fees the City imposes, the City cannot legislate "blight" out of existence. Once a property has been sold at a tax sale, it becomes nearly impossible to obtain financing without litigation or a payoff to the prior owner. These properties often end up being owned by the City when no buyers can be found at subsequent tax sales.

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